Thame Duellists Fencing Club’s junior athletes were in action on Sunday at the regional championships which took place this year in in Swindon.
As ever, it was an intense event as qualification for the National championships in Sheffield in May were up for grabs and over a hundred competitors vying for the qualification spots.
Thame had four fencers entered in the event, with Celeste Cooper Ellis, Hal Seed, Isaac Salle and Rebekah Seed representing the club across the age categories.
Isaac fought through to 14th in his age group, picking up two wins in the group stage and winning his first knockout bout before losing to eventual Bronze medallist William Peach of Swindon. Hal went a stage further, before losing in the last eight to a fencer with an awkward style, and finished 6th in his event, picking up his qualification for the Nationals. Celeste secured her first ticket to Sheffield with a 5th place finish in her first regional level event, but Rebekah outshone the rest, taking gold in her category. She dropped only one fight all day, in the group stage, and had to face the same opponent in the semi-final, where she took revenge in a tightly fought contest, edging her opponent out 6-5 when time ran out. Her final was also close but Rebekah closed it out with a 10-8 win against Emily Campbell, also representing Swindon.
Three qualifiers for the National championships is the club’s best ever Regional result. Club coach James Kingston said “I’m delighted with that. There were fencers from eighteen clubs across the region here today and across the events the eight gold medals were shared out between only five; Thame’s fencers have done really well against opponents from much larger clubs.”